Walking With The Father: 2019

May 19, 2019

Love one another (John 13) - welcome centre introduced

  • The commandment to love one another is not that easy. We tend to judge others when we don't really know them. We as Christians are called to do better. Our discomfort is a reminder that this is an opportunity to show love, and to share our faith. How...the way Jesus taught us how to love one another.

May 12, 2019

Dignity of work (St Joseph the Worker)

  • Today's readings are about the theme of work, and we celebrate and honour St. Joseph the worker, the foster father and husband of Jesus and Mary. Work is good for us, and we were made for it. God leads by example in His work of creation. Sometimes the work we do is silent and hidden, just as much of the life of Jesus was hidden. Think of today's liturgy, which means the work of the people.

May 2, 2019

Come alive in your faith this Easter season (Acts 5 27-33)

  • Watch the Apostles come alive in their faith through the Holy Spirit!

April 27, 2019

God protects his faithful (Daniel 3 13-95)

  • This is a memorable reading about a king who makes a golden image, and who wants the people to worship it. There were; however, the three who dared not to worship the image, and so their fate was to face certain death in the fiery furnace. Everyone watched and witnessed in wonder and in awe how the three were protected by God.

April 21, 2019

The Resurrection is a game changer (Easter Homily 2019)

  • Christ Is Risen. He Is Truly Risen! Jesus' act of love for us has given us access to heaven! Pause to consider the depth of this reality, the greatest moment in history, and how important the Resurrection is in our lives. If there was no Resurrection, then Jesus gets downgraded to a simple teacher who was innocent, and who died a brutal death. If that's the case, then we might as well go home. "When we die, then toss me in the ground, that's it, it's over!". There would be no hope and no lasting joy. But there is hope. Jesus rose from the dead, and by doing that we now know that it's not over when we die. We too will be raised from the dead and have hope for eternal life. As baptised Christians, we are moved to share the news of the Resurrection with others. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

April 17, 2019

Don't throw away your Lenten gains (Matthew 26 14-26)

  • Father Matthew looked into how much the 30 pieces of silver was really worth, which tempted Judas to betray Jesus. On the low end it was worth around 2 days of wages, and on the high end it was worth 48 days of wages for a Roman centurion. Looking back at these 40 days of Lent, let's not get too prideful of what we have accomplished, and let's not be tempted to fall back into the same attachments we gave up during Lent, such as those temptations that come through the senses. We need to know what our areas of temptation are, so that we don't "let it all go" just because it will be Easter.

April 4, 2019

Saint Isidore of Seville

  • Father Matthew provides us with an interesting homily about St. Isidore of Seville, one of the most learned people of his time, and today he is known as the patron saint of the Internet and computers. His passion was to document all known knowledge of his time.

April 3, 2019

The Father and I are one (John 5 16-30)

  • Jesus heals a paralyzed man, and tells him to stand up, take up his mat, and walk. This upsets the Pharisees because Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath, which goes against the belief to rest on the Sabbath. Jesus challenges this belief, and says that God is still working, and there is a need to act today regardless of the day of the week. On top of that, the Pharisees were particularly angry with Jesus because He called God, Father. After this, Jesus goes on the offensive in a direct manner (without the use of parables). Father Matthew describes the moment in more detail, and what it means to us today.

March 31, 2019

Let the mud touch your eyes (John 9 1-41)

  • 1. Jesus wants to heal us, but we have to let him.
    2. Growing in faith requires courage and perserverence.

    Note that Jesus never asked permission before healing the blind man with mud. He saw the need, and healed him. Jesus wants to heal us too, but we need to give him permission to do so. The blind man didn't resist, and he submitted himself not knowing what was happening. It doesn't make sense to put mud onto someone's eyes, and then commanded to go wash. It didn't make sense, but even so, the blind man surrendered. We need to let Jesus put his hands into our own wounds, and heal us, so we should not pull away, but rather we need to pass through it, and be healed by God. Let the mud touch our eyes! We need pray each day.

    The blind man's journey was quick, it all happened within twenty-four hours. The blind man originally did not know Jesus, and once healed, others were upset because he was healed on the sabbath day. There was then a mock trial, and the man's parents were also put on trial. The man was kicked out of the community for believing that Jesus must have been sent by God. As witnesses we need to continue to tell the world who Jesus is. Let us pray for courage to have perserverence like the blind man.

March 25, 2019

Woe to me if I do not share the Gospel (Luke 16 19-31) March 21st homily

  • Being blessed with wealth doesn't mean we are all damned. Fr. Matthew clarifies that the Gospel today has nothing to do with wealth. It is tempting to let our faith become secondary and nothing but an interest. Like the rich man, he could feast everyday, and yet not share it with others. We are feasting too around the treasures of the Church, and we are called to share the goodness of our faith with others in abundance. Woe to us if we do not preach the Gospel and do not share the goodness of our faith. Many who do not know Christ are starving, and they have no idea what they are missing. We are fed and nourished and our bellies are full, and we believe in the hope of eternal life. Father Matthew encourages us to share our faith with those who do not yet know Christ, or who have rejected Him. Let's pray for their conversion because we love them. It's our responsibility!

March 17, 2019

Unique healing (Mark 8 22-26) Feb 20 homily

  • Father Matthew draws a connection between Jesus healing a blind man and the healing of all healings in the sacrament of confession.

February 22, 2019

What kind of soil do you give God - Mark 4 1-20 (Jan 30 homily)

  • Are you giving God good soil in your heart? There's a lifetime worth of wisdom in this parable of the seed, the Word of God, yielding our response to the Word of God and the life of faith. The dispostion of our heart makes all the difference. Father Matthew elaborates on the four groups of people. There are those who have no soil at all, there are those who are open, and receive with joy and sprout quickly yet challenges arise and all is lost, those who are open, and also receive with joy (yet there are thorns and cares of the world which prevent them from continuing on), and those receive with good soil and yield good harvest. This parable helps us to understand the power of our free will, and how faith grows in some, yet not in others. We are responsible to receive the gift of faith and to grow (as we are responsible for our own soul), and also to help others.

February 17, 2019

Beatitudes as pep-talk for the disciples

  • Father Matthew explains that it is important to not over spiritualize the beatitudes. Jesus chooses twelve of his followers to form his team of disciples. He instructs them about what it will be like today and in the future: poverty, persecution, and loss. Jesus explains to them that they will face hards times, but that there will be greater things in store for them later. It's really a pep talk. There will be sacrifice, tears, and ridicule, but it will all be worth it in the end. Families will be left behind to follow Him as one of His disciples. If we experience suffering on the account of being a disciple of Jesus, then it will all be worth it in the end. There is great hope in this, and we are to leap for joy in the midst of hardship while we are trying to spread the Gospel to others.

February 3, 2019

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you

  • How well do you know your Bible? Most Catholics know the life of Jesus very well, but not so much when it comes to the Old Testament. Through today's reading from Jeremiah we can see how relevant the Old Testament can be for us. God tells us that before we were born, God consecrated us. He delcared that we are sacred, holy, and precious in His eyes. Think about the weeks leading up to the birth of your own child, and how exciting it was. Each one of us, like Jeremiah, has the role of being a prophet in our modern community. Father Matthew unpacks the meaning of this in more detail.

January 27, 2019

I Am He - Jesus drops the mic (Luke 4 14-21)

  • This has to be the most memorable mic drop experience ever, two thousand years ago. The one who is the Messiah says clearly, I am He, and now what are you going to do about it? While we know how the story ends, and that Jesus was telling the truth, to say these words at that time was punishable by death. It was so scandalous and shocking, yet he just sat down after saying it. His words and actions demand a dramatic and life changing response from all of us as disciples of Jesus. You and I believe that He is who He says that He is. He is the one who brought us the gift of freedom. Today let us renew our commitment as disciples of Jesus.

January 23, 2019

You are a priest forever (Hebrews 8 17, Psalm 110)

  • How's your priesthood going? We are all priests forever thanks to our baptism. Making prayers and sacrifices for others regularly is the point of this homily.

January 13, 2019

Baptism calls us to mission - Alpha introduced

  • This weekend we celebrate the historic event of the baptism of Jesus. Two things should come to our minds: our identity and our mission. In our own baptism we became sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus, heirs to the kingdom of heaven, and our bodies became temples of the Holy Spirit. When we touch the holy water when entering church, it reminds of us of our baptism, and of our identities as loved children of God. We are redeemed by Jesus so that we may have eternal life. Baptism is the doorway into our life of faith, and we are forever changed, washed and forgiven. Like a married couple that hopes to grow as a family, God wants all people to grow in number, and to receive the gift of baptism. It gives us our identity and purpose in life. Our mission is to go and to make disciples of all people and nations, just as the Apostles did. The disciples before us taught about Jesus, and if we want people to follow Him, then we too must live out our mission, and to make new disciples among the people around us. Jesus commands us not to be satisfied, and not to be comfortable, but to go out there, and teach people everything that He taught us. Let's help others to come back to the faith, and let's introduce our faith to others who are not Catholic. The Alpha program is a tool that can help to welcome people to our parish family at St. Isidore. We know there are many people who no longer practice their faith, and so the Alpha program is the bridge between where these people are today, and where they could be tomorrow. Father Matthew calls upon parishoners to consider volunteering this coming fall to help make the Alpha program a success.

January 6, 2019

Never stop searching for Jesus - Epiphany

  • King Herod commanded his men to search diligently for the child so that he too could pay Him homage, but we know his command was out of fear and deception. He feared this new king so much, that he commanded all newborn children to be killed in order to eradicate any threat to King Herod's power. He is also lazy and gets others to do the work. His command is prophetic, and it reminds us to be like the wise men instead, to search diligently for Jesus, and to find Him. Are we more like Herod or more like the wise men? Am I passive like Herod? Or am I active like the wise men? We are to worship together diligently like the wise men did. It's easier to be like King Herod, and expect others to do the work, but we are responsbile for our own souls. King Herod never found Jesus.
  • People search for God in all of the wrong places. Many have even stopped searching for Jesus for a variety of reasons. Thirty percent of the people in Ottawa are not religious at all, which means they are not searching for God. This is a serious crisis, and so you and I must help them to find true peace and true joy. Like the wise men, we kneel down and pay homage to Jesus every Sunday at Mass. We have encountered Him, and we have been transformed. The wise men returned home by another route. Each time we encounter the Lord in the Ecuharist we are transformed and healed, and moved to become a better son or daughter of God. We are never the same. Each week we are called to walk the path of righteousness, and make changes in small steps in our search for holiness. We must return home a changed person every week.

January 1, 2019

Mary Mother of God

  • Father Matthew does a recap of our spiritual journey throughout the new ligurgical year. We prepared for four weeks during Advent, and then on December 25th we celebrated the highest point so far, followed by the Feast of the Holy Family. Today is the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. Before imitating the Holy Family we need to first be disciples of Jesus Christ. Mary said yes to the Angel Gabriel, and so we too, should renew our "yes" to Jesus by understanding the Nicene Creed and what we believe. It also means knowing the person we are saying yes to. We can read about Jesus in the New Testament, perhaps by reading one chapter daily. Mary not only showed us how to say yes, but she had a deep prayer life, and she treasured all of Jesus words and pondered them in her heart. We too can have a personal conversation with God. Good communication is essential in all relationships, and the ability to listen. Let's speak and listen to Christ regularly. There are may ways to pray. Even by listening quietly to God. This New Year, let's set up a routine to ponder God's words in our hearts. Mary was in tune with the Holy Spirit, and she was full of grace. We too are called to pray regularly so that we can be filled with the Holy Spirit. At the wedding feast of Cana, Mary teaches us to trust Jesus completely in our time of need. We can't expect things immediately, but the important thing to know is that God does act, and He will be there for us in the long run. We need patience and trust especially in times of suffering. Mary knew and allowed the suffering of her Son because she trusted and knew that there was some purpose to it. Let's resolve to trust God more with our life, and to be more like Mary. The homily ends with a scripture passage from Jermiah 29:11 and the Hail Mary prayer.